When India's best bet in Engineering studies – The IITs – are themselves globally ranked beyond 100s, it's obvious that there is some serious work to be done on the education front. There are a lot of issues to be addressed (and acted upon) in this regard by the student fraternity and academicians.
Even at the graduate level, the focus is still only on one aspect – marks and grades obtained in theoretical exams and a few so-called “practical” exams. What one really learns has to be directly useful in the industry level to a larger extent, which is not the case today, even at the graduate level. The Right to Education should also ensure Right to Quality education. If we need industry-ready graduates, then primarily we need the participation of the Industry. Hence the curriculum and text books published, the content, the pattern of exams, everything else must have participation from the people at the industry level. Studying will become more specific, meaning the students get to learn what will be put to use when they work.
There has to be a ‘larger plan' in mind (moving beyond marks) while approaching matters regarding studies. For that to happen, students should be given choices to pick a few areas of interest earlier in schools. I don't blame students alone for the mad rush to engineering. After all, physics, maths etc, taught for years together does suit engineering education. When a student is given exposure to other fields, apart from sciences, like sports or journalism, he/she can nurture that interest and believe early it can be transformed into a successful career. The diversification has to begin at school. This would reduce some burden and give students space and time to leisurely concentrate on their interests. Learning less but better, is better than trying to learn too much. Every small thing learnt in school should help the student progress in that direction. Identifying that direction, though, is the challenge. Let the books contain all the formulae! It's about implementation and creation. That is when ideas are born.
A. Gautham, II Year, B.E. Electrical and Electronics Engineering, RMK College of Engineering and Technology,